A leaky faucet can seem like one of those insurmountable plumbing problems, but with a little guidance you can fix that faucet with ease.
The first step, purchase the correct faucet. This may sound simple, but finding the right faucet to fit your bathroom is about more than your personal style. Faucets come in many shapes and choices, so make sure you get the correct one to fit in your bathroom or kitchen. Choosing the wrong size will only mean another trip to the home improvement store. Before you leave the house, take the exact measurements of the holes for the faucet from the center of one hole to the center of the other. Consider bringing your old faucet with you when you go shopping to ensure you pick the correct size.
Now that you have the faucet, it’s time to think about what tools you need. Just like the wrong faucet will stop your project, the wrong tools will bring you to a halt or worse. Incorrect tools could ruin your pipes and create even more plumbing repairs.
Most projects will require at least two pipe wrenches – one for holding and one for turning. Make sure you use these pipe wrenches only on your pipes. The wrenches have sharp teeth which can bite into other metals or harm chrome-finished nuts and pipes. Open-ended wrenches and adjustable wrenches are helpful when facing square or hex nuts you will find in the interior parts of faucets and valves. A closed spud wrench is perfect for those hard to reach places. It is small and made to fit into tight spots. Consider using a vise grip wrench if you need to hold or work with small pipes. If you are working under a sink, a basin wrench will help you remove or tighten nuts that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Many faucets are part of the mixer variety. This means they bring hot and cold water into one spout that is controlled by a single arm. There are two types of mixer faucets – exposed deck or concealed deck. Exposed decks are the most common and feature a chrome holding outside the sink, while the concealed deck has the flange exposed just below the faucet handle. No matter the type of faucet you choose, it will come with manufacturer’s instructions. Before you jump into the project, be sure to read those instructions carefully. This will keep your project moving along and ensure the warranty remains valid. When customers do not follow the directions explicitly and break the item, the warranty has been nullified.
After you have carefully read the instructions, turn off the hot and cold water supplies to the sink faucets. Next, loosen the nuts and disconnect the faucet from the water supply pipes. If your new faucet does not have gaskets, consider applying plumbers putty. This will give the faucet a tighter fit to the sink.
When you are finished putting the faucet together, reattach the hot and cold water to the new faucet and turn it on.
If you experience any troubles during the installation process, do not hesitate to call your local plumbers. They will be able to point you in the right direction and figure out where you went wrong. Remember, small problems can become big ones if they are left unattended. So, call the plumber immediately if you experience any installation issues.